AJ Ericksen's Blog World

Saturday, July 31

Campaign Hiccup

New York Post Online Edition reports that Marines at a Wendy's, where John Edwards and his portly wife were celebrating their wedding anniversary, "dissed" Candidate Kerry. Said one, "I'm 100 percent against [Kerry]."


David B. Haight passed away this morning. His talks, of boyhood in Idaho, of Ruby his wife, of the little log cabin in upstate New York, will be missed.

Friday, July 30

Fashion and Politics

The pictures of John Kerry in a ridiculous looking jumpsuit are now old news:
I'm John Kerry. Am I not a massive tool?

But the fashion page of today's issue The Washington Post offers a particularly entertaining Analysis of the photo-op debacle.

Thursday, July 29

Baseball and the Firm

Last night, the featured recruiting event was the Astros 6-1 victory over the Diamondbacks. It was great to watch the Rocket pitch. Also, it was nice to play the D-backs because one could expect a win. But the best part was the eating.

Simply wonderful. Upon arrival, we were greeted at the club level with a buffet of hotdogs, hamburgers, Buffalo wings, ice cream, peanuts and lots of beer. And we could take all we wanted. By the second inning, I had downed two dogs with mustard and kraut, six wings and was headed back for a Haagen Dazs bar. I was in heaven!

All this food, a win and even a new gimmie hat. Good times!

Tuesday, July 27


Don't have enough reasons not to vote for John Kerry? Then consider Ben Affleck's omnipresence at the Democratic National Convention.

Weather Report

Houston has wonderful Weather. Currently, the temperature is 88°, and with the heat index it feels like 104°. However, at lunchtime, it was a relatively cool 81°.

The brisk air notwithstanding, I did find it odd when I saw a woman in the lobby of my Building wearing a plaid wool scarf. The absurdity of it all reminded me of Germany, where a breeze of any kind terrifies both young and old.

Monday, July 26


On Saturday, I went to the Astros/Brewers game with a partner from the corporate section of the firm. Bothered by what pre-teen girls were wearing, in the company of their parents, we got to talking. Anyway, he informed me that there is now a word floating around for these girls:
Upon learning this, I remarked that this sounded much nicer than saying, "She looks like a whore."

Friday, July 23


Ever since Blogger introduced the "Comment" feature, I've looked forward to my Blog becoming a forum for discussion. I realize that it is just a fluke, but I cannot tell you just how much hope the level of response to my Starbucks Post has given me.

Wednesday, July 21

Selling Out

For a long time, I took great pride in being able to say that I was the only person downtown who had never been to a Starbucks. I dreaded the place. To go there is to take one giant step along the path toward becoming a bona fide yuppie, complete with knowledge of trendy restaraunts and a BMW.

Anyway, on the way back from lunch in the tunnels, my coworkers decided to grab some Starbucks on the way to the office. For about a minute, I stood in the doorway, contemplating whether I could place an order through them and, thus, technically avoid being a Starbucks customer.

But when I started getting funny looks and being unable to explain my position, I caved. I stepped inside and ordered a cranberry bar.

I feel so dirty.

Monday, July 19

Digital Photo Management

If you've been to the Google homepage lately, you've seen a link to free downloads of Picasa, Google's photo organizer software. It is fantastic: simple, intuitive and it has a the best free red-eye remover I've ever seen.

Friday, July 16

Provoking Thought

From the Sports Guy's Mail Bag:
Q: If an animal attacks a PETA supporter, do the rest of the PETA people have to stand there and watch it happen so as not to hurt the animal? Or, would the attackee even want to be saved because if he was saved, he would be interrupting the animal's meal?
-- Ronnie, Edmonton, Canada

[Jimmy Kimmel]: This is a great question -- particularly considering the fact that PETA supporters are frequently naked. One can only imagine the joy that would be derived from seeing a wild boar simultaneously drive both his tusks into Pamela Anderson's breast implants -- like a saline shish kabob -- while Paul McCartney looked on helplessly, wondering if his new bride's remaining leg would be the crazed boar's next meal. Ronnie -- if you are younger than 25, I'd like to adopt you.

[Bill Simmons]: I'm afraid to say anything right now. Those PETA people are like Scientologists -- you don't even want to look cross-eyed at them. They're terrifying.

AJ makes me so hot!
Q: A buddy of mine and I had the "who is the toughest guy EVER" debate going. Now this is limited to movies/TV/Music. After a long list of: John J. Rambo, Darth Vadar, Johnny Lawrence ("Karate Kid"), and maybe perhaps Johnny Cash. We came up with the conclusion that none other than Pa Ingalls is the toughest person ever to exist. Who would be in your top five toughest people ever list?
-- Chad Anderson, Chicago

JK: Pa Ingalls? That reference to "Little House on the Prairie" just made certain the name "Chad Anderson" will never make such a list. (In fairness, though, no one named Chad will ever make a "toughest" list of any kind.)

Wednesday, July 14

My Summer

More Pictures from the second-half clerkship, including the Home Run Derby.


I hate cellphone ring tones. All of them. Why aren't people content with a simple ring or vibration? The Onion has a great Infographic:

I think one can safely say that too many people fall into the last category.

Monday, July 12

Movie Review

Allow me to recommend Anchorman, rated PG-13 for immature comedy. Will Ferrell is at his best. When he first meets Christina Applegate, who delivers a surprisingly strong performance, his pickup lines are fabulous. My favorite is when, after four or five failed attempts to impress her, he blurts out:
I have many leather-bound books [pause] and my apartment [pause] smells of rich mahogany.
Of course, there are some other scenes that I won't spoil. Suffice it to say that I laughed so hard my sides hurt.

The Derby

Chris Berman from ESPN introduced the eight players who competed tonight, and then he introduced all of the living members of the 500 Home Run Club. It was awesome to see Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, and Willie McCovey standing in the infield together. The crowd erupted; the atmosphere was electric.

Although he finished second to Miguel Tejada, who set a new record for the home run derby, Houston favorite, Lance Berkman had an awesome run. Hitting right handed off a right hand pitcher with the roof open, the Rice Owl crushed ball after ball over the left field fence. The longest shot off his bat was an amazing 497 feet. Phenomenal!

Sunday, July 11

No Alarms

And No Surprises, please. Did anyone even bat an eye upon hearing news that Ken Griffey Jr injured his hamstring?

Friday, July 9


There were a few extra tickets at work, so I managed to score a seat
near first base for Monday night's Home Run Derby!

Terrible Music

Last night, I endured musical torture about which I will not elaborate. However, this Article by ESPN's Jim Caple about songs that should be destroyed was made that much more enjoyable by the experience. Take, for instance, this commentary on the "YMCA," one of the worst songs ever:
Although I do appreciate how an anthem to homosexuality has somehow been transformed into the all-American song, loved and embraced by families at stadiums everywhere. Still, it's tired and stale. Time to add a new family-friendly song, like "The Thong Song."

Cell Phone Fashions

The New York Times carries an interesting article for trendsetters and hipsters about new cell phone accessories designed to give your phone an old school feel.

Pictured here are two of the designs:

The devices are made by Pokia, a company that bills itself as "Retro Phones of the Future."

Tuesday, July 6


I was just looking at my hands, after spending Friday golfing and Saturday
swimming, and I realized something:
I am a bronze god!

Monday, July 5

F*&$ Yourself

Charles Krauthammer offers an entertaining and well-reasoned defense of the F-Bomb, and of Vice President Cheney's use thereof.

Making a Friend

After lunch today, I made a quick stop by Half Price Books on Westheimer. On the way in, I passed a bearded man in his mid-30s begging for change. I didn't notice him.

My hope was to find a copy of Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey" or "Moondance." That effort failed, but I did make a "friend."

I paused on the way out to look at a book of Edward Hopper paintings. As I stood there, the panhandler entered and started walking toward me. "Hey buddy, I have a question," he called to me. Figuring he wanted changed, I touched my left leg subtly to check for coinage. As he neared, he made his request. "Can I have a hug? I really nead a hug man."

Not knowing how to respond, I shrugged my shoulders, which he interpreted as permission. He proceeded to squeeze me, and wouldn't let go. His embrace got tighter, I could feel the sweaty dampness of his shirt through mine. It was pretty gross. "There, there," I said, patting on the back.

After about 20 seconds that felt like 20 minutes, he released me. And I again breathed fresh air. "Thanks, man," he said, walking away. "I would have asked that girl, but then I probably would have gotten in trouble."

Also, I went to a climbing gym this afternoon with a girl from across the street. My forearms are killing me, but for you, loyal readers, I'll type through the pain.

Sunday, July 4

Independence Day

Today, I had a stroke of good fortune. Not feeling well this morning, I decided not to drive up to Austin to celebrate the Fourth. Instead, I stayed in Houston, where I ended up watching a small fireworks display at a local airstrip.

Tom Wilkinson from my ward is a flight instructor there. And he was nice enough to take us up, three at a time, in a small Cessna. I'd never been in such a small plane. It was cool to fly over the neighborhoods and look at the Houston skyline a few miles off. I cracked the window open, but we were banking too steeply to the right for me to spit on the traffic below.

I was also pleased this week to see the rolling out of the Texas quarter.

Saturday, July 3

Week in Review

Monday, I started work with my second firm of the summer. Both places have a distinct personality, and, should I get permanent offers from both, it will be a tough decision.

My new office features a button, next to the phone, that closes the door. Plus, I have a small closet. However, I can only get Coke on my floor and must make a quick detour up one floor to get my Dr Pepper fix.

Last night, I saw Spiderman 2. And it sucked. It was a total rip-off of Superman II, wherein the hero forsakes his powers to be with the woman he loves. Sure, the action sequences were great, but there was a lot of tedious "character development."

Today, we had a firm golf scramble. Thankfully, we had one guy in our foursome who actually played. The rest was ugly. I think I lost somewhere between 10-12 balls. As a bonus, we didn't have to go back to work in the afternoon. It was a nice lead into the holiday weekend.

Tonight, I sang Karaoke with some people from my ward. It was a good time, but we had too many people in the room. So it was hotter than on the golf course. On the plus side, I discovered that Billy Joel's "Piano Man" is the easiest song in the world to sound good singing Karaoke.